Five Guys

Oh. My. Gosh. There’s a reason why this place has been rated the best burgers in Washington DC for the past 753 years (OK, well, the past 8 years). This is everything you could ask for in a fast‐food burger joint, and the fries (fried in peanut oil…yay trans fats!) are perfect—-not the least bit soggy, but delightfully crispy but not overdone (although Christopher thinks using peanut oil makes them taste burned anyway). That didn’t stop him from eating his fair share of our order. And what does he know anyway? He’s not an East Coast guy.

At any rate, we each ordered a “regular” burger, which apparently in Five Guys language means “double”, because we had two patties on our buns. Is this normal? Do Americans now expect two‐for‐one? We would have been happy with a single, and the next time we dine, I’m just going to order the “little size”. “Little” is more like what I think “normal” would be, which is way too much for a two‐year‐old to eat all by himself. Yet somehow, David managed and entire hamburger. I don’t know whether to be proud, ashamed, mortified, or some combination of those things.

Another note to self: next time, two people would do just fine splitting a regular size order of fries as opposed to a large (because there are as many fries sitting in the bottom of the bag as there are in the serving cup).

Most places we’ve found do not offer malt vinegar as a staple condiment, but since Five Guys started on the east coast, it’s common practice and a fabulous addition. Do people do that in the midwest?

One of the nice things about Five Guys is that you can custom design your burger with a wide variety of toppings that would cost extra at most places. Additions like fried onions, sauteed mushrooms, and green peppers make it a little more exciting that your average ketchup‐mustard‐relish options. Beyond that, the menu is the model of simplicity. Do one thing, and do it supremely well.

So, the one complaint Christopher had was, after living up to all the hype about the burgers and the fries, he thought it would have been totally appropriate for them to have milkshakes on the menu, but there were none (hence the loss of half a star in our highly scientific ratings system. Seriously, people, I’m trying to have an experience here). Our standard fast food conversation about how you have to drink soda with fatty food (because the bubbles help to break things up, of course) was compounded by how, in this case, it just didn’t feel right to not have a milkshake. Because really. If we were going to stomp Emily’s Weight Watcher’s attempts into the ground, why stop with the burgers and fries? Why not full‐fat ice cream and whole milk while we’re at it? And in the same vein, why do they bother with the Diet Coke in their soda fountain?

For those who are morbidly curious about finding out the nutritional value of the lunch you just ate, they do post that information on their website. Good news! My tomatoes and lettuce combined only totaled 14 calories!

The place was packed (it has been every time we’ve driven past) so they must be doing well. After seeing the sparse decor and the simplicity of the kitchen design, we’re wondering what took them so long to finally open, but we’re glad they’re here, and the next time we really earn a no‐holds‐barred lunch out, we know where we’ll be going…

Leave a Reply